Porsche Supercup: Spa lights-to-flag victory for Preining with Ashkanani promoted to second place after post race penalty for Voorde
Round seven of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps will remain in the memory of Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing) as a perfect weekend for a long time to come: Top times in all practice sessions, pole position and a commanding lights-to-flag victory. “I was really fast in the first laps and managed to pull clear of my pursuers so that they couldn’t use my slipstream. With this gap I could then control the race,” said Preining. Second place went to Larry ten Voorde (Team Project 1) from the Netherlands ahead of Zaid Ashkanani (MRS GT-Racing) from Kuwait. UPDATE- Due to a false start, Larry ten Voorde receives a 10-second penalty. This puts Zaid Ashkanani in second and Mattia Drudi now occupies third place.
Witnessed by packed Formula One grandstands, 33 drivers from 15 countries took off into the race in a temperature of 18-degree Celsius and sunshine. When the lights went out, Preining made an almost flawless start with his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 and managed to hold on to his lead after catapulting out of the first corner. Over the course of the race, the 20-year-old continued to extend his lead over the rest of the field and swept over the finish line after eleven laps with a 4.1-second advantage. This marks Preining’s third win so far in this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Dutchman ten Voorde also celebrated his best result of the season. Taking up the race from the third grid spot, the 21-year-old settled in directly behind Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS) in second. After the first lap, the Project-1 driver outpaced the 19-year-old on the start-finish straight and refused to relinquish his position to the flag. “I immediately put Julien Andlauer under pressure, which was precisely my plan. I’m particularly thrilled to bring home a podium result from a revered racetrack like Spa,” said the driver from the Dutch town of Boekelo.
Zaid Ashkanani concluded the race on the circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes region in third place, 3.4 seconds behind ten Voorde. “I love this racetrack, and this makes third place very special for me. The important thing was that I succeeded in fending off Julien Andlauer in the ninth lap,” said Ashkanani. This result saw the 24-year-old climb the podium on Sunday for the first time this season. Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) also enjoyed a fast race: Starting from eighth, the Italian moved through the field to lie in fifth place. In the last lap, the 20-year-old managed to manoeuvre past Andlauer’s 911 and into fourth place.
Porsche Junior Andlauer had to settle for fifth place. “My start was pretty good, but unfortunately I drove on the grass slightly while duelling with Larry ten Voorde. Afterwards I managed to work my way back up the order, but my tyres weren’t perfect after the chase and Mattia Drudi was simply too fast in the end,” said Andlauer. Sixth place went to Nick Yelloly (Fach Auto Tech) from Great Britain, with Michael Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) taking the flag in seventh. With this, the German race driver still leads the championship. His advantage over Yelloly, however, has shrunk to just two points. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech) came eighth ahead of Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMERAS). In the ProAm classification, Nicolas Misslin (Pierre martinet by ALMERAS) secured the top position. For the Frenchman, this marks his first win in this class.
Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist (Porsche AG) celebrated his first race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This weekend, the two-time winner of the tradition-steeped Macau Grand Prix sat in the cockpit of the VIP vehicle run by Porsche AG. After Rosenqvist qualified on the tenth grid spot, the Formula E driver succeeded in defending his position to the flag on the 7.004-kilometre racetrack. “I’m pleased with the result. Of course I would have preferred to finish further up the field, but I would’ve had to take more risks. But I didn’t want to endanger anyone’s chance of earning championship points with some risky manoeuvre. All in all it was an action-packed weekend,” said Rosenqvist.
After seven rounds, Ammermüller still leads the championship. The 32-year-old ranks first with 100 points. Yelloly lies in second place with 98 points, with Preining in third with 85 points.
Round eight of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be contested on Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza from August 31 to September 1. For Mattia Drudi (Misano Adriatico), Gianmarco Quaresmini (Castegnato) and Alberto Cerqui (Preseglie), this will be a race in front of home crowds. The trio compete for the Dinamic Motorsport squad, which has its headquarters in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy.